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Favre struggles, Packers see hopes of No. 1 seed wiped out

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ANDREW SELIGMAN
December 23, 2007
— No tears for Brett Favre this time, just frustration.

And Green Bay can forget about the No. 1 seed in the NFC.


Brian Urlacher returned an interception for a touchdown for the first time in his career, Adrian Peterson ran for 102 yards, and the Chicago Bears beat the Packers 35-7 on a frigid Sunday afternoon. The loss wiped out the Packers’ shot at home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.


The Packers needed to win this game, beat Detroit next week and have Dallas lose to Washington to capture the No. 1 seed. Instead, it goes to the Cowboys, with Green Bay locked in at No. 2.


Favre was at his worst on a bone-chilling, windy and at times snowy afternoon, and the Packers (12-3) took their most lopsided loss of the season.


He passed for just 9 yards in the first half and 153 overall, giving him 4,058 this season and putting him over the 4,000-yard mark for the fifth time.


He was 17-for-32 and threw two interceptions. Alex Brown picked him off on the first possession of the third quarter, setting up a touchdown that made it 21-7, and Urlacher ran one back 85 yards early in the fourth.


But Favre, who left Soldier Field in tears after leading the Packers to a win last New Year’s Eve, wasn’t the only one to have a rough afternoon. The Bears blocked two punts by Jon Ryan, who also dropped a snap and booted a 9-yarder.


The Packers had gone 12 years and 929 punts without a block before Darrell McClover knocked one down in the second quarter. More damaging was Charles Tillman’s block midway through the third quarter. Corey Graham recovered at the 7 and ran it in for a 28-7 lead.


Early in the fourth quarter, Urlacher juggled the ball after it hit his chest and then returned it 85 yards up the right sideline.


The Bears (6-9) had little to celebrate this season, but they got some consolation by knocking off their archrivals twice.


Peterson carried 30 times and scored on an 8-yard run in the final minute of the second quarter that gave the Bears a 13-7 lead.


Kyle Orton was steady if not spectacular, going 8-for-14 for 101 yards and a 3-yard touchdown pass to Desmond Clark in the third quarter.


Green Bay’s Ryan Grant ran for 100 yards, including a 66-yard touchdown run in the second quarter, but with the gametime temperature at 16 degrees and a gusty wind, the Packers never got going.


Favre was 2-of-7 in the first half, and Brown, starting for the injured Mark Anderson, quickly put to rest the notion Favre would turn things around in the second half when he picked off a pass at the 35.


That set up the touchdown pass to Clark. And things just got worse for him and the Packers, who were missing a key part of their run defense, with defensive tackle Ryan Pickett nursing a groin injury. Justin Harrell started in his place.


Chicago was without Pro Bowl linebacker Lance Briggs (hip), cornerback Nathan Vasher (groin) and defensive tackle Darwin Walker (sprained elbow).



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